SpaceX Receives FCC Approval to Launch 1,500 Starlink Satellites

Gwynne Shotwell

HAWTHORNE, Calif. (SpaceX PR) — Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved SpaceX’s request to fly more than 1,500 of its Starlink satellites at an altitude of 550 kilometers. Additional information on the approval can be found here, and the following statement can be attributed to Gwynne Shotwell, President and Chief Operating Officer at SpaceX:

“This approval underscores the FCC’s confidence in SpaceX’s plans to deploy its next-generation satellite constellation and connect people around the world with reliable and affordable broadband service. Starlink production is well underway, and the first group of satellites have already arrived at the launch site for processing.”

SpaceX is targeting no earlier than May for launch of a Starlink mission.

Last year, SpaceX became the first U.S.-based company to be licensed by the FCC to operate a NGSO constellation of more than 11,000 satellites.

Earlier this year, SpaceX submitted an application to operate 1 million user terminals as well as its first six gateways to provide the necessary communications links back from the satellites to the global Internet. SpaceX intends to install sufficient gateway sites in the U.S. and around the world to ensure that the Starlink satellites have a visible gateway earth station with which they can communicate from all parts of their orbits.

  • ThomasLMatula


  • Saturn1300

    There was a link to the NASA report. P.7. It is true, NASA said the bolt was the credible cause. Maybe SpaceX can bluff and stonewall there way out. NASA put it out there. It is our fault we did not see it. This has to be reported to the House Science Committee. I do not see how FAA can approve a launch license for them with out a public hearing on this finding. Maybe they asked SpaceX: Did you fix it? SpaceX: Yes we did. Good enough for the FAA and the USAF Range and NASA. Not even a fine. Good history NASA says. Hire them again. Complete coverup. It is not our job to police SpaceX. It is US Gov. The way NASA killed a lot people in Space accidents. I guess it is.

  • Kirk

    Can you link to the report?

  • schmoe

    LOL wut..

    Not sure what Saturn1300 is ranting about, but AMOS-6 or CRS-7 have nothing to do with Starlink. Starlink is an internal SpaceX project, they are spending their own money on it so they get to do what they damn well please as long as they follow the FCC regs.

  • Saturn1300

    General SpaceX comment.

  • Saturn1300

    Almost three years after an explosion that destroyed a Falcon 9 destined
    for the International Space Station, NASA has released the findings of
    their independent review team. The public summary report details the 2015 explosion pointing to a “design error” as the cause of the explosion that destroyed the vehicle.
    No, but this article does. Copy and paste did not work.

  • schmoe

    Starlink is not funded by NASA nor any other source of taxpayer money.

    SpaceX is developing Starlink entirely with their own internal funds such as the $1.1 billion stake invested by Google/Fidelity.

    And solid rocket boosters do explode. See the 1993 Delta II explosion caused by one of its SRBs that ruptured seconds after launch, which destroyed the GPS satellite payload and rained burning chunks of propellant all over the Cape Canaveral launch pad.

  • schmoe

    As was stated in the article you linked to, the CRS-7 incident was traced to poor-quality struts made by an outside contractor SpaceX hired to produce at the lowest prices, and the strut was found to have been built with cheaper industrial-grade material instead of more expensive aerospace-grade material (the contractor cut corners). After CRS-7, SpaceX started manufacturing their own struts to ensure they meet specificatioons and none has ever failed in flight since then.

    The Falcon 9 has successfully flown 50 times without a single in-flight failure since CRS-7. If one include the two successful Falcon Heavy missions, it would be 52 times flown without a single in-flight failure.

  • Saturn1300

    Wrong. Delta was destruct. Shuttle SRB were never destructed. They leaked. Both plunged into the ocean. They have a 4′ hole in the tail. This keeps the the pressure at 700psi. ATK said 500 uses and counting and no explosions. They are super simple. That is what NASA should use. They can not manage LRBs. Notice I said on their own. I have been a fan since I found and read the ’12 ATK products catalog. My favorite is their RSRM-1. 2-1 thrust -weight ratio. I can not get anyone to use it.

  • schmoe

    The 1997 Delta II in-flight failure was traced to a rupture in the No. 2 GEM-40 solid rocket motor, which destroyed the adjacent No. 8 GEM-40 and triggered the flight termination system 13 seconds into the flight, 1600 feet directly above the launch pad.

    Fact is, solid rocket boosters are not foolproof.

  • Saturn1300

    Wrong. You seem to be using memory instead of reading the report. I thought that is what had happened also. They used a rod end to attach a cable to stay the tank. The rod end eye broke. NASA must have found someone that told them what they were doing. The person may be telling a false story. Maybe the FBI could check. Probably a big penalty if they are. I have never heard SpaceX deny that they did use a FAA standard part. The report says they insisted on using this part. Sounds like a coverup to me.

  • schmoe

    Give your useless conspiracy theories a rest dude. The problem was resolved and the Falcon 9 has flown 50 times without a single in-flight failure since, including 9 subsequent CRS missions that went off nominally.

    The only thing wrong here is your conspiracy theories that still lives in the year 2015.

  • Saturn1300

    I will take NASA analysis over SpaceX anyday. Write anything you want . I have to go to bed. I will check in the morning.

  • schmoe

    Then how do you explain the fact that after CRS-7, NASA continued flying with SpaceX on 9 more CRS missions without a single failure? Fact is, NASA after their analysis concluded that the problem is fixed and that they can continue flying CRS missions with SpaceX, contrary to your conspiracy theory.

    Sorry, whatever you are ranting about has no basis in reality.

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    There was also a Titan IV failure due to SRM burn through in 1993.

  • ThomasLMatula

    Meanwhile it looks that after the judge rebuke the SEC for trying to do her job they compromised with Elon Musk over his tweets agreeing to better define which ones he needs permission for.

    Tesla’s Elon Musk and SEC reach agreement on Twitter use: no punishment, but tighter rules
    By Simon Alvarez

    Posted on April 26, 2019

  • duheagle

    The goofball SpaceX bashing is getting a bit old. How about some more bunny stories?

  • redneck

    I believe there are some mental health problems with that one. I just quit responding as I believe there is no point. If anything useful does come up, I’ll just read responses from you and a couple of others.

  • Christopher James Huff


    Where are you getting the idea that a cable was involved anywhere? Not the NASA report or its summary, which clearly illustrates the eyebolt, strut, and configuration of struts anchoring the tank. The bolt that failed was part of the strut. NASA’s report isn’t disagreeing about the probable failure point, just that a manufacturing defect was the most probable cause. The report also says that SpaceX addressed their concerns.

    What is the FBI going to do, perform a third party design review of cryogenic aerospace hardware? Does this sound like something they typically do?

  • Saturn1300

    More dodging on the way up. I did improve my WiFi. My DSL did not get faster. I got a 2 core laptop so I could run 64 bit. I ran Puppy Linux 64. A large improvement. This was with a ’10 refurb. Looked new. Floppy hinge system with stops. Someone pushed the stops too hard and broke the case, CA has fixed it so far, but I have to be gentle. $60. Real good deal otherwise. Wide screen. Much better than 4×3. No op sys on HD. I did not pay for one. I was hoping since there was stickers for Win7 and 10 refurb. that it would be on the HD and I could reload. No such luck. HD was clean as it was suppose to be. Puppy is free and better than WIn as it has an ad blocker and 40,000 or so free apps. Antix also.

  • duheagle

    Always happy to help out – when I’m feeling up to it. I’ll confess that the sheer volume and density of his stuff – and the lack of paragraphing – often causes me to give his posts a pass.